Depression Assessment

  1. Does anyone know of a site where I can get a list of questions to ask to assess depression? (How much sleep do you get, etc.)
    I need this today for a post-partum visit. TIA.
  2. Visit melissa24 profile page

    About melissa24

    Joined: Jun '02; Posts: 92
    Home Schooling Mom/Home Health RN


  3. by   sphinx

    This is a link to the Goldberg Depression Questionaire- one that I find useful. Hope this isn't too late for you to use.
  4. by   mario_ragucci
    I don't know, but I'd be curious to know how a new mom can be depressed. Would the baby be born depressed too? Usually if I ask a question like this in real life women and girls would attack me. But depression is serious, as well a the life of the new born.
  5. by   ShandyLynnRN
    I believe Melissa was referring to Post partum depression. It isn't controlled by how "happy" a woman is at being a new mom. It is hormonal and chemical. Even the women that are very happy to have a new baby can be afflicted with PPD. Just like people that have "a good life" can be afflicted with depression. And no...I don't believe it has ever been passed on to a newborn.
  6. by   meownsmile
    I can tell you i was very depressed after my babies. After my first it was horrible,, i was depressed for almost a year now that i look back on it. It had nothing to do with how much i wanted a child, or how my childbirth experience went, or anything like that. It was flat out hormonal, and was about me,, not the baby. Only problem was noone recognized it for what it was, so i just took it day by day and it finally went away slowly.
    Wasnt quit as bad after the second,, but after the third it was bad again, i was sick(pneumonia) when she was born, had another child under 2 at home. They even watched me for failure to bond after my third,, had 3 home visits. Wasnt a real problem,, we were bonding fine, but that was after the post-partum thing came into light(late 80's).
    Luckily mine passed, but a freind's sister went into post-partum psycosis,, thats the scary stuff.
  7. by   Jacaut
    Originally posted by mario_ragucci
    I don't know, but I'd be curious to know how a new mom can be depressed. Would the baby be born depressed too? Usually if I ask a question like this in real life women and girls would attack me. But depression is serious, as well a the life of the new born.
    On the serious side... good question. It is hormonal for most. Great answers already.

    On the lighter side- I think it's related to "sticker shock". The baby is adorable... but then you realize you probably will only sleep through the night once in 18 years, the kid's gotta be fed, the hospital is requiring a second mortgage... the grandparents aren't the same people you grew up with... and the list goes on and on and on.


  8. by   sphinx
    Postpartum depression is very common. While it is quite common to have a case of the "baby blues" in the early days, related primarily to hormones (and lack of sleep!), if these "blues" last longer than 2 weeks, or start at or after 2 weeks, it is generally considered true postpartum depression. It can range from mild depression to full blown postpartum psychosis, which is thankfully not as common. When I worked in the birthing center, in postpartum, I occasionally ran accross a mom with the blues, but it was transient, came and went, and of course she would be discharged lightening fast.....but I always did a good teach. Doing OB in homecare, I saw a lot more PPD, because I'd care for women further out postpartum, usually. Because I am a long-time sufferer of depression, I can easily tell when someone else is feeling depression. It's almost an instinct sometimes. I do as much teaching as I can, even if I don't see signs. If I do, I do my best to get them the help they need without getting sucked in, which can be hard something. Our agency has a wonderful psych nurse who I often call in, and she is terrific for the short term, and for setting the pt up with outside services.

    And Mario, the baby is not born depressed, since postpartum depression starts after the birth. Even for women who are depressed prior to birth (like me) don't pass the depression on at birth, although depression does tend to run in families, and someone who has major depression may likely have a child at higher risk for depression later in teir life. The only risk to the baby is if the mom becomes so depressed that she can't function, in which case she cannot adequately care for her child. This is esp a danger with a mom with no support, for example a single mom, or a mom who's husband works long hours and is not physiically present. The other danger is the mom with postpartum psychosis, which like I stated before, is more rare. These women, can get irresistable urges, or voices saying to hurt the baby, etc.

    If you have had PPD with one pregnancy, while the next might be ok, there's also a strong chance that subsequent pregnancies will also lead to PPD, and prevention is the key. I always say to my new mom's not to be afraid to talk to their docs if they experience signs of depression, that it doesn't mean they are a bad mom, and that it happens to many, many women. Most of my patients will talk very freely to me about it.

    This is subject I'm very passionate about, because despite having longterm major depressive episodes, both pregancy and postpartm (but esp postpartum) were very hard times for me. I thought I was the most hideous person in the world for feeling so horrid after having such perfect wonderful babies. I now know so much more, and whenever I can, try and pass that on. As nurses, I imagine you probably know all this, but I also have a tendency to ramble (as some of you may know!). But I have spent a lot of extra time with my at risk patients talking about this, so they don't feel as ashamed as I, and so many other women did/do.
  9. by   Jacaut
    Sphinx- what a great answer. I hope you don't feel I was trivializing depression- just laughing at the burdens of parenthood. Depression is no joy for anyone. The family is affected as is the victim. I also suffer from depression- am on an antidepressant and feeling much more myself. I've suffered for years and it took so little to help.

    If anyone is reading this and suffering from what they suspect is depression- go to your doctor right away. Get help. You don't have to suffer.

    Hope you are finding help, Sphinx.

  10. by   sphinx
    Don't worry Jackie, I didn't think that at all.......I find I often have to poke fun, in order to cope! Ya know?!!Esp when it comes to parenting! And yes, the family is affected. Both my husband and myself suffer from depression. My children are from a different marraige, so he didn't see the postpartum aspect of it, but has seen other, just as ugly stuff. But the shame of feeling like that after having a baby is what was so bad. I hate to think about others feeling that.

    BTW, the link for the goldberg scale I posted above...I use this on occasion to see where I stand....... a month or so ago I was in the severely depressed category, now I am in the moderately depressed category. But that's for another thread! :-)
  11. by   maureeno
    A depressed mother can also have difficulties linking emotionally with her baby which can lead to an attachment disorder.